Are you using photobucket? Sometimes I'll just drop the links into Word and write in between pics, then copy and paste it here. You could just do that here though.
Yes.. I'm using PhotoBucket just because I had opened one years ago for when MySpace was still "big". I didn't think of using Word first and insert the coding for it to load when posted. Thanks for the tip!!
I envy you guys that can do your own work. However, you don't seem to be a real mechanic cause your hands are too clean...unlike my mechanic brother, lol!
Nope, nor am I claiming to be. I have a desk job during the day. The Jeep is my escape from being inside all day and week long, whether it's working in the garage all weekend, or going wheeling. As far as the hands go.. I wear the crap out of nitrile gloves and mechanics gloves. I get tired of having to scrub my hands "clean" for the office environment, and I've busted open enough knuckles to last a lifetime.
Most everything I learned about Jeeps (Wranglers) were on my first TJ, with a buddy of mine. He passed off knowledge he knew of CJ, YJ, and TJ's, and how to think through a project from start to finish, and what other items will be impacted by the one change I want to do--all before turning a wrench. With that, I adapted the basic principles from the TJ to the 2010 JK, and did some more "learning". We now have a 2013, and intend on using what I've learned and heard to make this even better than the past Jeeps.
One thing I can say about Jeeps.. most everything is bolted on. It makes it much easier to "tinker" and learn... at least you have a brother that's a mechanic. If something goes wrong with the motor or the inside of the transfer case or transmission, I'm screwed. That's where my limits are (outside of general maintenance--althought I did change out the headers on the TJ to a Banks setup, and installed Aussie lockers in the D30 on the TJ).
Finally.. the summer weekends are coming to an end, which means time is starting to open up. I'm about to order the below to do the 3.5" Lift Install. I think I covered all the basics and yet some, after learning from the 2010 and all the research between all the forums (although I really only post here). I'd appreciate any feedback you may have based on experience with some of the components...
RK 3.5" Mid-Arm Flex (not X-factor, not Plus)
RK front spring retainer clips
RK rear spring angle wedges
Teraflex rear track bar bracket relocation
PPM front & rear 3" bumpstops
RK front upper adjustable control arms (in case I need them--if the lowers aren't enough--the 2010 needed the uppers, and I'm going to assume the 2013 will need them as well)
Bilstein 5100 series shocks
PPM Steering (Drag Link) flip kit
PPM front track bar relocation bracket
PPM flip kit adapter
Once the above is done, then I can take a measurement for a new Tom Woods front driveshaft--will drive around for a week or so with no front driveshaft
I haven't completely decided on wheels yet, but it's between the AEV Pintlers in Argent, or an XD wheel I saw on the road and having a hard time finding it online, but still looking (would prefer hub-centric, but will get the rings if I go with a wheel that isn't hub centric).
Before the wheels, I'm looking at right about $3k. Which is about $700 more than I thought this project was going to cost (before wheels), but I want to do it right the first time (again.. lessons learned from the 2010 go-around).
*edit* I've tried piecing together other kits, like AEV and Synergy, and looking at the x-factor and plus lines from RK. It was a close tie between the Synergy Stage 2 (3") and the RK 3.5" Mid-Arm. It came down to needing at least front lower adjustable control arms to raise the pinion angle a bit to accommodate the new driveshaft.
*update* Everything is ordered except the front upper adjustables. I'm going to see if I really need them first after installing the kit and dialing in the pinion angle to get the measurements for a Tom Woods DS. Most everything has arrived, but waiting for the actual kit from Rock Krawler. I also ordered 5 Fuel D517 Kranks (17x9-black/machined) for the 5 35x12.5 Nitto Trail Grappler MTs I have in the garage, and those won't be in for a week or so (and got hub centering rings, since the D517's have a hub bore of 78.1mm). I was hoping to get everything installed this weekend, but it seems the lift kit won't arrive by today.. so maybe next weekend. Stay tuned!!!
Everything I need for the actual lift part of the install is in, and the Fuel Kranks arrived to Discount Tire today (along with the hub rings). Lift will be installed this weekend, followed by a visit to Discount Tire on Monday. Hopefully the 2 parts I need for the Synergy flip kit install arrives some time this month so I can knock that out before it gets too cold outside. I'll post pics once done.. "full" write up will follow days later..
After a grueling 3-day weekend, this is as far as I got (3.5" RK Mid-Arm Flex System, Bilstein 5100 series shocks, RK front spring clips, RK rear spring wedges, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler MTs on 17x9 Fuel Kranks (-12mm offset/4.5" backspacing):
The weekend didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. My boss was gracious enough to let me have Friday off to get started. I had started taking videos to edit later, but after the 2nd hiccup, I decided to not take any more photos because I wanted to get through the install. Only 3 years ago, I put this same lift on our 2010 JKUR, and don't remember running across as many, um, "challenges" as I did this time around. Since RK does a good job with the instructions, I'll just call out some items that may help others. I can only speak to our new 2013 JKUR 10A. I don't know if this will be the same for other year models...
As I started to disassemble the front (raise Jeep by axle, support frame, remove wheels/sway bar links/track bar/shocks/front stock drive shaft/brake line bracket at base of spring perch), lower the axle slowly and check for enough slack for lines for electric locker, brakes/ABS lines, and breather tube). I first noticed the brake lines are routed differently than our old 2010, and runs through a bracket at the base of the front springs. I made note of this and remembered to pull the brake lines back when installing the new shocks so that it would be easier (and less messy) when swapping out the lines for the braided stainless steel. Also, if you're using the front spring retaining clips, you won't be able to re-use that bracket as the bolt/nut would make contact with it (driver side).
While the Jeep was on all 4 tires, I made note that the pinion angle was already somewhat pointing upwards towards the transfer case. This was different than the 2010, in that it was more horizontal with the ground than pointing up towards the t-case. After installing the RK lower control arms on the 2013, I wasn't able to use the "recommended" settings, and ended up collapsing most of the arm to make it as short as possible. Even with this, the pinion angle was pushed down to a more horizontal position to the ground. I had to call this morning to order RK adjustable uppers to correct the angle so that the Tom Woods driveshaft will work (haven't order the driveshaft yet, but will in the next few days).
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to RK for using zerk fittings for grease instead of the prior "hard-to-access-without-taking-off-the-control-arm" allen nut to access the fill point for the 3-in-1 lube. On that note, while others will dispute this, I opted to point the zerk fittings down rather than up (easier to access without having to remove the arms for re-greasing). Yes, I realize that for the front lower arms, this puts the zerk fittings at a greater risk for trail damage, although for most the time, it should be out of reach for the trails I typically do. Also, THANK YOU for including rear steel braided brake lines with the kit--last time around, it only came with the front.
The passenger side upper shock mount.... REALLY??!! The 2010 was a LOT easier to get to, but the 2013... geez. The fun part was trying to figure out the washer/rubber bushing configuration on the Bilsteins that would allow for installation. The closest I got was to wedge the washer at an angle on top of the bushing, and push down hard to get the nut started. Then wrenched it, 1/4 turn at a time. Before installing the shocks, know what length they are when fully extended. Use this measurement to check how far your axle will drop at full extension, and check all lines and tighten up the slack if needed.
Be sure you know how to drill through steel--not sheet metal, but thick steel so you don't go through several drill bits (drilling required for the front 3" Synergy bumpstop spacers I used (mounts to base of spring perch) and the front spring retaining clips). Measure and mark SEVERAL times... you only get to drill once! The RK front sway bar link upper bolt required the factory sway arm to be drilled out to 1/2"--the factory bolt was a size M12 (the sway arm (IIRC) is hardened steel--slow RPM drill speed with motor oil to keep the heat down is key here). Also, if you're using the RK front spring clips, I opted for the next size shorter Grade 8 bolt. On the passenger side, where I determined I needed to drill, the bolt is just a tad too long and makes contact with a metal surface underneath.
When tightening the connection of the steel braided brake line to the Jeep line (more so on the passenger side), use your finger to follow the metal brake line where it goes behind the the shock tower--make sure the line is not touching the shock tower. If it is, bend it slightly to allow for space between the line and the back of the tower.
Lastly, be sure ALL bolts are torqued to spec while the suspension/axle is in the "normal" position--meaning, as if the Jeep was on its own wheels on the ground.
....I think that does it for the front.. now for the rear...
If you're using the RK rear track bar bracket (requires welding), you need to drill a hole on top of the factory mount. Do yourself a favor and raise the Jeep (and support it correctly), and drill from the bottom up. Sure, hot pieces of metal shavings will eventually find its way to your skin, but there isn't a whole lot of room to drill from the top even with the axle dropped all the way (I have a Ryobi drill... electric drills may clear a little better). In my case, I researched and found that I wanted to use the Teraflex rear track bar bracket, as it does not "require" welding. This uses a u-bolt around the axle, and connects to the inside bolt of the lower driver rear control arm. However, the Teraflex bracket did not fit flush against the bracket for the lower control arm, nor did the bolt holes line up. I called Quadratec this morning, and we are trying another unit to see if it was a bad bracket I got. It should arrive before this weekend. For the time being, I had to install and use the RK bracket.
When dropping the rear axle, watch the ABS electrical lines, the breather tube, electric locker lines and parking brake lines. I also opted to unbolt the brake line mount (where it attaches to the frame) to give more slack.
If you plan on using aftermarket wheels that are not hub-centric, I'd recommend spending a few bucks on a set of hub centering rings. It helps with pre-centering the wheel prior to installing the lug nuts. Also, check the back of the aftermarket wheels. If the lug holes are flush with the mounting surface (not recessed), be sure to remove the annoying little metal retaining discs you'll see on some of the wheel studs. This WILL prevent the wheel from mounting correctly (perfectly flush).
Once everything is installed, don't forget to program in the tire size (measurement to be taken with the weight of the Jeep ON the wheels and tires--for example: I have 35" tires, but when on the Jeep and on its own weight, it measured at 34" tall). Also, be sure to check and realign your headlights!!!
Granted, I didn't spend all 3 days (Fri, Sat, Sun) all day. This included a few runs to Home Depot, a run to Discount Tire, and time to work through some of the unplanned challenges that came up.
So for this weekend, I plan on trying the replacement Teraflex rear track bar bracket to see if it fits. I also need to install the rear steel braided brake lines. I also need to finish installing the Teraflex tire carrier and figure out how I want to mount the 3rd brake light. I then need to install the Synergy drag link flip kit (which requires the use of the Synergy front track bar relocation bracket). If I can get all this done this weekend, then the following weekend will be the install of the Cobra 75WXST and antenna and time to recheck all the bolts. I'm hoping for a shake down run in early November...
I'll take more pics in the upcoming days and post them here.
*edit* I also forgot to mention that I needed to cut 1" off the end of each slider to allow room for the 35" tires at full compression--after cutting, I sprayed the ends with black "truck bed" coating, let it dry, re-drilled a new pilot hole for a plastic retainer to hold the end caps in place..
Looks awesome. Great writeup on the lift. I'm about to pop on a 2014 Rubicon Unlimited. It's a toss up between the Anvil and Copperhead, which I have yet to see in person. As soon as I can see a Copperhead vehicle (any) in person I'll make the decision.
Looking forward to seeing more photos of yours! The Anvil / black wheels looks awesome and would be the same combo I'd be looking at doing.
Thanks for the feedback.. It literally took me 2 months of looking to narrow down the wheels to a handful. I know I didn't want ALL black, and with the Anvil color, I don't like how the AEV Argent color looks (it's gray, but a different shade, and I didn't think it would look right). Rugged Ridge just came out with new ones ("Drakon"), but I wished they had machined accents. I also knew I didn't want "common" wheels that are found everywhere. I then came across Fuel Wheels, and while they are fairly popular, you don't see to many of them around Albuquerque. I finally decided on the Kranks (and picked up the hub centering rings from them for an exact fit).
I just remembered that I have videos from the Teraflex Hinged Carrier install I finished a few weeks ago. I was waiting to get the new wheels/tires before installing the carrier part. I finally installed the carrier part tonight, but didn't take pics or videos (it was already dark by the time I got home and wanted to hurry up and finish due to cold winds and rain that was coming in). I'll try to work on that tomorrow night and post it up..
I’ve done quite a bit of work on the Jeep since the last post, and am trying to catch up to getting the write-ups done along with editing and uploading some videos. This one is for the installation of Synergy’s Drag Link Flip Kit and Front Track Bar Relocation Bracket, which is required (per Synergy) if you plan on installing the drag link for high-steering configuration. If you are installing the drag link in the factory configuration, you will not need the relocation bracket. Along with the below write up, I uploaded a video to YouTube:
Our Jeep already has the RK 3.5” Mid-Arm Flex System installed, so that’s the front track bar and sway bar links you see in the pics.
Start by removing the front track bar at the axle end, and tie it up and out of the way. I also used this time to measure up-travel to ensure nothing will hit or bind up under full compression. You’ll also notice I’m using the 3” Synergy bumpstops as recommended by Synergy for 35” tires (4” bumpstops for 37” tires). If you happen to be using a Rock Krawler front track bar, be sure to zip-tie the joint together so the ends don’t fall off and get dirty.
After removing the sway bar link from the axle end, rotate the Synergy bracket into position.
The bolt that will be used to go where the factory track bar bolt was is the thickest one, along with the shorter spacer.
Here you can see the spacer in place.
Next, snug down the other 2 supporting bolts. I personally use red Lok-Tite on suspension/steering related bolts for an extra piece of mind.
Here is everything reassembled with the new bracket. The Rock Krawler sway bar link bolts will not work with the Synergy bracket. I had to use the RK setup and install it to the factory location and NOT on the Synergy bracket. Eventually, I will look for a bolt that will fit all the way through. You’ll also notice I opted to mount the steering stabilizer to the Synergy bracket so that I can rotate the mounting bracket on the tie rod up and out of the way.
Next up is the drag link flip kit. Start by removing the factory drag link. You will need a puller to do a clean job. I didn’t have room to use a puller at the pitman arm, so I opted to use a separator fork. Once off, I needed to drill out the hole using a 13/16” bit (per Synergy’s instructions) so that I can use the Synergy adapter. If you have a tapered reamer and the know-how, you could do that instead. I’ve never used a tapered reamer, so I opted to drill out the hole and use the adapter.
After drilling out the hole, the adapter didn’t quite fit. I had to dremel/grind out the hole just a little bit, then was able to use pliers to “close” the adapter to make it fit, then used a rubber mallet to tap it in place to get it started. I then used the puller and a strong piece of flat metal to act as a press. I’d press it in a bit, then tapped on the puller with a hammer, press a little bit, tapped a little bit. Repeat until the adapter is fully seated.
Once that is done, the rest is easy. Eyeball the wheels/tires to dead center, then determine if you will have enough room to work with on the knuckle side with the drag link adjustment (per Synergy, from the zerk fitting to the end of the actual drag link piece should not exceed 3.5”). Then, simply install the drag link and tighten down the nuts and insert the cotter pin. If you haven’t done so already, install the zerk fittings. Do NOT overtighten!!! One of them stripped on me rather easily, and I luckily had another in the garage that size (a tad smaller than the zerk fittings from RK). Be sure to grease the ends until you can see the grease filling up the boot. Also, when tightening the adjustment nut down, be sure you have the drag link ends “centered”—meaning, make sure one end isn’t compressed in one direction while the other end is compressed in the other direction.
Be sure to test drive the Jeep and center the steering wheel by using the adjustment nut on the axle end. Be patient and take your time adjusting this. I took me 4 or 5 times to get it “perfect”.
I have noticed that bump steer is minimal now (as it was when factory height), especially when going over speed bumps. It is easier to travel in a straight line at highway speeds and not constantly having to correct bump steer. So far, I’m satisfied with this upgrade (although it’s only been a few days).
Quick update regarding the Teraflex rear track bar relocation bracket: I received the replacement from Quadratec, and when held next to the first one I got, the part that connects to the lower control arm bolt was COMPLETELY different. I was able to install it and torque everything down, and just shipped the first bracket I got back to Quadratec. I'll get a pic of it once I get home tonight and post it...